Proposed redevelopment Sanatorium Road
Proposed redevelopment Sanatorium Road

Plans for 166 homes will increase traffic and pollution, fear residents

Petition says transport should be reviewed before more is built in Canton

A CANTON woman has launched a petition to highlight concerns that residential redevelopments could increase traffic and pollution in the area.

Since it was published two weeks ago, 119 people have signed the petition started by Catherine Dash.

“The junction feeding Sanatorium Road, Broad Street and Lansdowne Gardens is at gridlock in rush hour and the proposed development will only make matters worse,” said Ms Dash.

“Sign the petition before consent is approved for planning so that traffic is reviewed and improved first.”

A total of 166 new homes are proposed for the former Lansdowne Hospital site and the old Milk & More distribution depot are both on Sanatorium Road.

Residents are being given an opportunity to comment on the proposals before developers officially submit an application to the local planning authority.

These proposals follow in the footsteps of The Mill redevelopment down the road on The Boulevard where work started in 2017. By 2022, the 53.6-acre former paper manufacturing site will house 800 homes, a community hall, neighbourhood centre and parks.

Of the two new plans, the Lansdowne Hospital site would become 106 affordable homes — 44 houses and 62 apartments — as well as green spaces.

The original building has stood empty since it was badly damaged when it caught fire in April 2019 and services and staff were re-located.

The former Milk & More distribution depot is to be developed into 15 townhouses and 45 apartments.

Residents are worried the new homes would increase traffic and pollution, and increase pressure on public transport.

In an email to a resident, Councillor Stephen Cunnah said local councillors had only very recently heard of the proposal for Lansdowne Hospital and was “disappointed at the lack of prior notification or consultation with us as local members”.

The Boulevard to the far left is the location of The Mill housing development, with Milk & More and the former Lansdowne hospital proposed developments located on Sanatorium Road

“Overall, as Canton councillors, we remain concerned that there is an over-intensification of development on Sanatorium Road, without the supporting infrastructure,” said Coun Cunnah.

This concern was echoed by Claire Chapman, who commented on the petition that supporting infrastructure “needed considerable improvement” before more homes were built.

Sara Anstice, who also signed the petition, said: “Traffic is already dangerous. Pollution is already too high for an area that has schools and a nursery close by. The area is too dangerous to cycle through and the pavements are not wide enough to accommodate pedestrians.”

As part of the consultation for the former Lansdowne Hospital, Asbri was commissioned by housing developer Hafod to analyse current traffic in a transport statement.

The 4-way junction connecting Sanatorium Rd with Broad St, Heol Terrell and Grosvener St

This said that Sanatorium Road leads into an important four-way junction connecting it with Broad Street, Heol Terrell and Grosvenor Street.

Heol Terrell is a vital connection leading into Cardiff City Centre, while Broad Street leads to the B4267 which allows access to the A4223 and the M4.

In the petition residents said the junction was already gridlocked at certain times and the new development would make things worse.

This video captures traffic at this particular junction on a sunday afternoon at 2.30pm.

Asbri said, however, that the amount of traffic predicted for the Lansdowne development would be lower than when it was a hospital so there would be “no material impact on the operation or safety of the local highway network”.

Milk & More also commissioned a traffic survey which said that Sanatorium Road was “lightly trafficked” and speeds were controlled highlighting that this is taking into consideration development traffic associated with the Mill development.

Both developers say they will encourage residents to walk, cycle and use buses and trains.  

Asbri said shops, offices, health care, leisure, education and employment were all within easy walking and cycling distance from the Lansdowne site, something echoed in the proposal for Milk & More.

Asbri suggested promoting a car-sharing scheme for residents and asking whether a NextBike sharing station could be installed at the site entrance.

The two developers also say infrastructure improvements suggested for The Mill development could help matters.

Coun Cunnah said the two new plans were in their early stages and residents still have the opportunity to make their concerns heard.

  • On December 2, at 6pm, a virtual community webinar and Q&A session will be hosted by Asbri via Zoom to discuss the Old Lansdowne Hospital plan with residents.